January 27, 2021

Let's Get to Know...Sarah Craig!

 It's time for the second instalment of my Let's Get to Know...interview series 😊 This month we're getting to know Sarah Craig, who blogs at Confessions of a Fabric Addict (don't you love that blog name?) Sarah is the woman behind the Hands 2 Help Comfort Quilt Challenge (it'll be coming again soon!); she's a prolific quilter and she's always sharing wonderful scrap quilting inspiration. I love her puzzle style Tshirt quilts, too. Plus she's active in her church's quilt ministry. Whew! She's a force to be reckoned with, right?? 

Let's get to know Sarah!
Let's get to know Sarah Craig | DevotedQuilter.com

Tell us about your first quilt.  Do you still have it?

Well, I'm going to assume this means "modern quilting era" first quilt, as I made some tied quilts many many years ago before I would have called myself a quilter.  So the answer is that I don't have it, but my granddaughter does!  The first quilt I made was a Rae Hawley pattern, lots of different blocks that you could arrange to suit yourself.  I even put a felt applique of Lilli's handprint in the corner to commemorate her age at the time (she was two).  And it has been well loved, but is still in use!

Do you come from a family of quilters or crafters?

My grandmother taught me how to sew at the tender age of eight, starting me off with a pair of structured shorts with a zipper, darts, pockets and a waistband.  She didn't believe in easy starts!  I spent every summer with her, and always made my school wardrobe for the next year during that time.  She was a first-class seamstress, making her own suits and some of my grandfather's too. She also excelled at embroidery and needlepoint.  She taught me both, but the love for them didn't really catch on with me.  She also knit and crocheted.  The one thing she didn't do was quilt, and I don't remember a single quilt in her house.  The one quilt I remember seeing was given to her by a tenant at her farm, and she gave it to me right away.  But from her I have a love of fabric and sewing, and also a love of family heritage.
Sarah Craig's Harry Potter quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
Sarah's Harry Potter quilt, made for her granddaughter Lilli. All pictures in this post are courtesy of Sarah.


Do you have any sewing related collections (other than fabric and thread, lol)?


Of course!  I seem to be a magnet for both vintage sewing machines and vintage quilts.  Personally, except for my lovely Juki, I'd rather sew on a vintage machine than anything made these days - they are so well made and long-lived, plus they are so pretty!  I have a shelf unit in my studio devoted to some of my favorites, and it's always a favorite stop for people who visit.  I haven't come up with a great way to display my vintage quilts in my new house yet, but their day will come....
Some of Sarah's vintage machines 😍

What sewing notions could you not live without?

Well, as far as not living without it, thread!  No way to quilt without it.  But the ones I would rather not contemplate quilting without include my Bloc-Loc Ruler for half-square triangles, my 100" tape measure, and June Tailor T-Shirt Quilt Interfacing.  Oh, and a good, hot, heavy iron!

Would you rather cut the pieces for a quilt or stitch a binding?


Ever since I learned to machine-bind a quilt, I've loved doing it - and I've probably put binding on 300 or more quilts.  Practice really does make perfect, or practically so.  I can bind a lap quilt in about 30 minutes now, and as it's the very last part of making a quilt, I love the process!
Sarah Craig's Long Time Gone quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
Sarah's Long Time Gone quilt - just look at that texture from her amazing custom quilting!


What do you wish you had known when you started quilting?

That's a tough question - I kind of fell into quilting, learning as I went.  But looking back, I wish I had known years ago that scrap quilting was so much fun!  I also wish I had known way back then that it was easier to keep scraps in control as you go rather than letting them pile up into unmanageable mountains!!

How did your church's quilt ministry get started?  Has it changed much since that beginning?

That's a long story, but the short version is that our sewing class at church (not a quilting group) decided to make a quilt for a young woman in our church who was diagnosed with a virulent form of cervical cancer.  We enjoyed it so much we made some quilts for Quilts For Kids, and then our pastor started requesting quilts for people he was ministering to.  It kind of snowballed from there!  We started out working from my home once a month, and then after a few years moved into space at church where we can meet weekly and have our materials and tools set up all the time.  That was a welcome change and made for a lot more room in my house!

How do you identify people who need a quilt from the ministry?

Our church has a strong belief in mission work, and our members are constantly "on mission" in our community.  More than 75% of the quilts we give away go to people outside our church family - to people that our members are ministering to in their daily lives.  Any member can request a quilt for someone they know in need.  Generally the recipient is having medical issues, but it can also be emotional problems, grief, or personal tragedy.  We also look for groups that do good work, such as a local charity that provides suitcases and personal care items for foster children, and provide them with quilts or other items that they need.  For example, we received a huge donation of flannel fabric, and shortly thereafter, had a request from a local NICU nurse for receiving blankets for their unit.  It was our pleasure to be able to provide them!

Do you have any advice to anyone wanting to start something similar?


Keep it simple!  You don't have to do intricate patterns or super-fancy quilting.  No one who receives a quilt from you is going to judge it - they are going to see the love that went into the making of it, and feel the comfort that only a quilt can give.  Oh, and don't be too consumed with perfection!  It's highly over-rated.  
Sarah Craig's Supernova quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
Sarah's Supernova quilt - it's a free pattern on her blog!


This one's not quilting related, though it could be if you listen or watch while you quilt.  Do you have a book, movie or show recommendation to share?

I have to admit, my guilty pleasure while quilting is to listen to audiobooks - and my absolute favorite series of all time is the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.  I read them before audio books was really a thing, had them on my Kindle when I was going to unending doctor's appointments ten years ago, and love listening to them now when I quilt (although I do listen to other books too!)  But Clare and Jamie feel like good friends, and I know they can always take me away to another time and place.  If I'm watching movies, anything from the Marvel Universe can entertain me, although I must say that Aquaman saying "Permission to come aboard!" always takes my breath away.... LOL!



Thanks, Sarah! I loved getting to know you better 😊

Be sure to go visit Sarah's blog and see more of her beautiful quilts. If you have the time, I'd recommend you consider getting involved in Hands 2 Help, too. It's a wonderful opportunity to share a quilty hug with someone in need.

6 comments:

  1. What an interesting interview. Sarah is certainly a skilled and prolific quiltmaker. And I love that she knows Clare and Jamie. They're my friends too! Sarah and I must have been listening to "Outlander" audiobooks at the same time, because I've now read them once (in 2000), and listened to them three times. Can't get enough!

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  2. Very cool!! she is a force to be reckoned with!! But so generous!

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  3. Wonderful post Leanne. Thank you for helping us to know Sarah a bit better. She is an amazing person in our community.

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  4. What a great series and awesome interview. I love audiobooks, too, and really like hearing about what books speak to others (I'm always looking for more suggestions)!

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  5. What a fun post to read! I need to go find the first interview - I missed that one! It's been good to get to know Sarah a little better (now I need to go watch that scene with Aquaman . . .)

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  6. Thank you for organising this series of interviews. It really helps to nurture a real sense of community for us quilters :-)

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